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Think you can text or talk while driving? Your brain probably disagrees

A study in Saudi Arabia revealed that 98.2 percent of drivers admitted to using their mobile phones while driving, and that using a mobile phone while driving was one of the top five causes of accidents in the Kingdom.
Most people think they can do two things at once but psychological research proves the brain is just not wired to multitask, especially when driving. When the brain is taxed with too many simultaneous actions, it actually performs each one slower. So, for example, while many people may think they can safely talk on the phone and still concentrate fully on the road, science says otherwise.
When drivers become distracted or mentally taxed it can have disastrous consequences. Every year, according to the World Health Organization, more than 1.25 million people die from road traffic collisions, and studies show that 94 percent of accidents are caused by driver error.
Matt Gerlach, one of Ford’s most advanced driving instructors, has spent the past 10 years training engineers to become expert drivers at Ford’s testing center in Australia.
Gerlach said: “I’ve trained hundreds of drivers over the years, and based on my experience, I’d say that just normal road driving uses around 85 percent of your mental load. Just sending a text message, taking a photo or even just having a conversation with a passenger may not seem very difficult to do but it can overload the brain when someone’s driving — and that’s when accidents happen.”
Traffic authorities in the UAE said that 10 percent of crashes could be linked back to drivers using their mobile phones to browse social media or take videos while driving. A study in Saudi Arabia revealed that 98.2 percent of drivers admitted to using their mobile phones while driving, and that using a mobile phone while driving was one of the top five causes of accidents in the Kingdom.
There are a number of ways all drivers can reduce their chances of driver error:
1. Concentrate just on driving and avoid dangerous distractions when behind the wheel.
2. Expand your field of vision: “Generally people don’t look far enough ahead when they’re driving,” said Gerlach. “They tend to look at the car in front rather than scanning to see what’s happening further ahead. Even with relatively little practice, it’s possible to use your vision to scan a large distance of the road ahead of and beside you, while still seeing everything that’s going on immediately around you.”
3. Avoid driving while drowsy.

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